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The Indian mock strawberry is a popular ornamental plant that looks confusingly similar to the native strawberry at first glance. Nevertheless, the two plants have a significant difference by which they can be recognized. Mock strawberries grow with the fruit up, while strawberries hang down. Since Potentilla indica is an ornamental plant, the question often arises as to whether it is poisonous.

Mock strawberries: Toxic or not?

If you are not sure whether the mock strawberry is poisonous compared to the native strawberries (bot. Fragaria), rest easy. Despite the name, Duchesnea indica is a mock strawberry not poisonous, which can be recognized by the ingredients that are formed in the plant parts:

  • ascorbic acid
  • beta-amyrin
  • daucosterol
  • fumaric acid
  • ellagic acid
  • lupeol
  • B sitosterol
  • ursolic acid
  • vitamin C
  • Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Potassium

Because of its ingredients, the Mock Strawberry is even an effective addition to your own diet, as long as you can put up with the bitter taste. Children in particular are initially enthusiastic about the strawberries until they have tasted them once. The good thing: Despite the bitter taste, there is no poisoning after consumption, regardless of which part of the plant of the species. Even children, sick or weak people can handle or consume the plant without hesitation. Potentilla indica has the following properties on the body:

  • antiseptic
  • anticoagulant
  • detoxifying
  • cleaning
  • antipyretic

The plant is part of Chinese folk medicine and is prepared there in many ways. Even wild specimens, which can be found more and more frequently in Germany and Central Europe, pose no danger to humans.

tip: You should be careful with the consumption of mock strawberries if you have an allergy to strawberries or rose plants (bot. Rosaceae) in general. In addition to strawberries, these include plums, almonds, rose hips, cherries or raspberries, which in the worst case can even lead to anaphylactic shock.

effect on animals


Due to the ingredients, dogs are protected from possible poisoning by the mock strawberry. Animals can easily consume large amounts of any part of the plant without suffering any side effects, making it a safe ornamental in the garden or container. Even puppies don't need to be watched when they are near the plant. However, if your puppy is playing with one of the fruits, you should be careful not to let the animal choke on it. Mock strawberries aren't exactly small and can easily get stuck in your throat if you're not careful in the heat of the moment. If your dogs like to dig, you don't have to worry about poisoning either. The roots pose no threat to man's best friend.

notice: If you are a horse owner, you also need not worry about any potential toxicity or dangers related to Indian mock strawberry. Horses can even find some of the plants growing wild and they are seen as a snack to be eaten in between.


As pets, cats are much more at risk when it comes to poisonous house or garden plants. The reason for this is the poor sense of smell and taste of velvet paws. They check their surroundings mainly by chewing plants and can quickly poison themselves in this way. Luckily, with Potentilla indica, that worry is completely unfounded, because it is not poisonous for cats. The house tigers can eat the plant as much as they want, even after larger quantities there are no problems. Just make sure your animals don't eat too much of the berries as the acidity is quite high. Over time, this can lead to hyperacidity and stomach problems. However, mock strawberries are rarely eaten by cats, as they are quite unattractive to them.

small animals

Even for small animals, Potentilla indica is completely harmless and can even establish itself as a snack. It is mainly local small animals that are happy about the plant:

  • Rabbits
  • Rabbits
  • hamster
  • mice
  • rats
  • Hedgehog

Animals such as guinea pigs and chinchillas, which come from South America, are usually less fond of the mock strawberry. You can feed not only the berries, but the whole plant including the roots. Rabbits are more likely to feed on the leaves in the wild when encountering the plant as the plant is completely non-toxic. For this reason, the mock strawberry even suggests itself as a safe food source that your small animals can use. As with cats, you should keep the amount of berries fed to a minimum to avoid stomach problems from excessive acidity. But you can feed some of the berries in between.


If you keep mock strawberries with birds, you can even use the fruit as a feed additive. A small number of the berries can be given without any problems, as they have a similar effect on the animal's organism as domestic strawberries. But don't be surprised if your birds aren't really interested in mock strawberries. Due to their bitter taste, they are very uninteresting and are not even eaten in nature. Exceptions are mostly small amounts of food in the area. But there's nothing wrong with feeding some of the annual harvest to your flying pets.

notice: Please note that this article is by no means a substitute for a doctor's visit. There is no guarantee of the correctness of medical statements.
Detailed information on first aid in the event of poisoning and important information on the poison control centers can be found here.

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